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Source: Powell v Alabama (1932)

It thus will be seen that, until the very morning of the trial, no lawyer had been named or definitely designated to represent the defendants. Prior to that time, the trial judge had "appointed all the members of the bar" for the limited "purpose of arraigning the defendants." Whether they would represent the defendants thereafter if no counsel appeared in their behalf was a matter of speculation only, or, as the judge indicated, of mere anticipation on the part of the court. Such a designation, even if made for all purposes, would, in our opinion, have fallen far short of meeting, in any proper sense, a requirement for the appointment of counsel. How many lawyers were members of the bar does not appear, but, in the very nature of things, whether many or few, they would not, thus collectively named, have been given that clear appreciation of responsibility or impressed with that individual sense of duty which should and naturally would accompany the appointment of a selected member of the bar, specifically named and assigned.

Is appear transitive or intransitive here? In what does the 'lawyers ... members of the bar' appear?

  • I read "How many lawyers were members of the bar does not appear" as another way to say "How many lawyers were members of the bar is not known." – Damkerng T. Dec 3 '14 at 9:19
  • 2
    or possibly, more literally, does not appear [was not specified] on the list of lawyers we looked at earlier. – Tetsujin Dec 3 '14 at 10:19
3

appear is always intransitive.

If viewed as a logical sequence, we get:

  1. Prior to that time, the trial judge had "appointed all the members of the bar" for the limited "purpose of arraigning the defendants."

  2. (The actual number of) How many lawyers were members of the bar (and thus appointed for the limited purpose mentioned above) does not appear = is not stated or is not known (for whatever reason)

  3. but...whether many or few, they would not, thus collectively named,...

  • Thanks. Would you please explain what your numbering followed by > means? Also, since you used an ellipsis, is and thus appointed for the limited purpose of... part of the original quote? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Dec 15 '14 at 18:00
  • Will you please to respond in your answer, and not as a comment – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Dec 15 '14 at 18:01
  • I've edited my answer to eliminate these issues, so it does seem appropriate to respond in a comment. The only ellipsis is now at the end of #3. I don't know why the > marks were there. Maybe a formatting problem. – user6951 Dec 15 '14 at 18:33

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